The Effectiveness of a One-Year Online Mentoring Program for Girls in STEM

SourceComputers & Education, 69, 408–418.

Author(s): Stoeger, H., Duan, X., Schirner, S., Greindl, T., & Ziegler, A.

Although the performance of girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is continually improving and is no longer below that of boys in most domains, girls' interests in STEM and participation rates are still too low. Online mentoring may help ameliorate this situation. To test this assumption, a one-year personal mentoring program for eleven to eighteen-year-old female college-preparatory students was evaluated. Mentee and mentor communicate with one another and with other program participants via email, online chat, and forums. To measure program effectiveness, we randomly assigned participants (N = 312) to either a treatment group (N = 208) or a waiting-list control group (N = 104). We collected questionnaire data at three points in time. In comparison to the waiting-list group, the treatment-group participants showed greater levels of desirable short-term and long-term developments. Our findings indicate various advantages for online mentoring for promoting girls' interests in STEM.

Reference Information

Stoeger, H., Duan, X., Schirner, S., Greindl, T., & Ziegler, A. (2013). The effectiveness of a one-year online mentoring program for girls in STEM. Computers & Education, 69, 408–418.